Ballon d'Or 2019: 3 Reasons why Lionel Messi could still win the award regardless of what happens in the Copa America
The 2018-19 domestic football season came to a close after Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League. But Barcelona and their talismans featured prominently throughout the football action that took place during the year.
Barcelona won the LaLiga this year but that title felt a little underwhelming after their scorching defeat at the hands of Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals. Also, they lost the Copa Del Rey final to Valencia, which meant that the Blaugrana ended their season on a low.
This was Lionel Messi's first season as the full-time captain of Barcelona, but it wouldn't really be considered as a success by many. Talks of Ernesto Valverde facing the sack have also emerged, but for the moment it looks like Valverde will continue as Barcelona manager for the next season.
That said, the way Messi played during the course of the season, many believed he was the front-runner to win the Ballon d'Or. But now with Virgil Van Djik, Cristiano Ronaldo and Bernardo Silva strengthening their claims for the award, doubts have started to emerge among the fans about what will happen if Argentina don't do well in the Copa America.
Here, we take a look at three reasons why Messi has a good chance to win the Ballon d'Or regardless of what happens in the Copa America:
#3 Messi stepped up in the big games for Barcelona
In the matches that have mattered, the Barcelona skipper has performed pretty well. In the UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Manchester United he scored two goals. In the first leg of the semi-finals against Liverpool, he produced one of his best performances in a long time.
Barcelona won all the EL Clasicos this season, and one of the biggest reasons for that was how Messi performed in each and every one of them.
Messi has always been the one to stand up for Barcelona and perform on big occasions; when he has an off day, it seems like the whole team is having a bad day at the office. The influence that Messi has on this Barcelona team is massive.